Sunday, August 26, 2012

14 Hours of Thunderstorms Dump 7.5 Inches of Rain.

Brutal thunderstorms, high winds, and dangerous lightning hit this small beach town at about 3 pm Saturday, August 25th and didn't let up until 5 am this morning.  I've lived through hurricanes that were not as damaging as this series of non-stop storms.  At 3 am - and wide awake - I sat mesmerized by my bedroom window watching the cloud-to-cloud lightning dance in the western sky.
Turns out the town didn't fair well as can be seen in the photo at right of the Brighten Suites Parking Garage. (click image to embiggen.)
The Cape Gazette:
Heavy rain Aug. 25-26 flooded the Cape Region, including the majority of downtown Rehoboth Beach. Reports show hotel basements, parking garages and elevator shafts flooded, especially those on the south side of Wilmington Avenue.
Mayor Sam Cooper said the water around town receded around 4:30 a.m. He said the flooding damaged a lot of private property, but not city property. Cooper said two places with the most substantial flooding were at Funland and Brighton Suites’ underground parking garage.
Rehoboth Beach Police Chief Keith Banks said 25 to 30 cars stuck in the flooded Brighton Suites lot had to be towed out. He said no injuries were reported as a result of the weather. Banks said the water began receding around 2 a.m. before breaking at 4:30 a.m.
Cooper said he is meeting with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to get an idea of the extent of the damage and how they plan to respond. He said much of the flooding on Delaware, Wilmington and Brooklyn avenues was caused by backed up stormwater outfall pipes.
After walking home in a heavy downpour, I received a coastal storm warning and sent a text message to the locosguys detailing the info I had just received.  The storms looked enormous, coming up from the south west, heading north east, and straight for Rehoboth and the Atlantic. The front hit at about 6 pm, and by 7:30 all non-essential electrical appliances were off and unplugged.  I didn't want to chance losing anything to a sudden power surge, or blown transformer. 

The restaurant closed early because water was entering the building from behind the main electrical panel. There was a fear of electrical fire and/or total power outage, so the building was evacuated for the safety of everyone.

The threat of more storms looms large this evening, but none are said to be as dangerous as the ones last night. Oh, and by the way, this weekend last year we were boarded up and facing the approach of hurricane Irene.   Last night's storms did more damage than that hurricane.

And so it goes.


  1. cripes! and up here we have had nothing and can really use the rain.

    glad to hear you are ok.

  2. Holy Moly! We didn't have any flooding but the thunder and lightening was amazing! Stay safe, my friend.

  3. Those thunderstorms kept me awake. I usually sleep through them but these were different. I told Bill they lasted about two hours. He said they didn't but you just confirmed that they were about two hours. A lot of my plants were smashed and one bird bath knocked over. Global warming? Nah!


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